The South Korean government is proposing to increase next year’s budget 6 percent from this year’s 400.5 trillion won ($354.8 billion) to incorporate campaign pledges on stronger social security and defense resources by President Moon Jae-in.
According to the finance ministry’s compiling on budget requests from government offices, next year’s fiscal spending would come to new record high of 424.5 trillion, up 6 percent, or 23.9 trillion won, from this year’s budget.
The on-year budget increase would be twice higher than the growth of 3 percent in original 2017 budget proposal.
The growth would come down when including the supplementary budget of 11.2 trillion won sought by the new administration.
During his campaign, Moon vowed to up fiscal spending by an average 7 percent during his five-year term, doubling the average of 3.5 percent under the previous government.
The requested budget breaks down to 294.6 trillion won, up 7.2 percent from 2017, in general spending and 129.9 trillion won, up 3.2 percent, in government-led projects.
By sector, requested budget for 2018 increased in seven spending areas including welfare, education, R&D and national defense, but decreased in five areas including social infrastructure, industry and agriculture.
By Lee Seung-yoon
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